Biography of Rutherford B. Hayes

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23rd Sep 2019 History Reference this


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Rutherford B. Hayes

 On October 04, 1822 Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in Ohio. His father, Rutherford Hayes was a storekeeper who died just two months before the birth of his son. His mother, Sophia Birchard was left to raise him and and his siblings alone, but she gained the help of her sister as well as some other relatives. Rutherford had two older siblings, Lorenzo and Franny. His brother died when he was only two years old, so he did not get to know him too well.  Birchard’s brother, Sardis became a father figure in their lives because he helped take care of them the majority of the time. Him and his sister became very close as kids because they were really the only ones each other had. Their mother did not allow them to participate in sport and other activities.

As he got older, he attended school and was cut out to be a very smart man. In his younger years, Hayes attended Methodist Norwalk Seminary in Norwalk, Ohio. Then he went on to a preparatory school in Middletown, Connecticut. He then furthered his studies to Kenyon College where he graduated as the valedictorian.  After graduating Kenyon College, he decided he wanted to pursue law so he went to Harvard Law School.Rutherford was the first president to receive a graduate degree.  He successfully graduated and completed the bar in 1845. Furthermore, Hayes began his career as a lawyer and opened his own practice in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most of his cases repeatedly had to do with defending the slaves who escaped Kentucky and came across the border to Ohio.

When moving to Cincinnati, his opposition of slavery attracted him strongly to the republican party. While living there, he met Lucy, the girl who soon became his wife when they married in 1852. She was his first lady during his presidency and she was the first first lady to graduate from college. Before Hayes became president, he fought for the Union in the Civil War. During the war, he served as the major for the Twenty- Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded four times, but he fought until it was over. He came out with a wounded knee in Pearisburg, a gunshot in his left arm, shot in the ankle and hit by a spent musket ball.  Out of the seven presidents who served, he was the only one who was wounded.  After the war ended, he served in the House from 1865 to 1967.

In 1967, Hayes was elected as governor until 1872. Hayes’ election was said to be one of the most malicious in history.  Hayes was not well known in the Republican Party, but he was the compromise candidate in 1876. Tilden, his opponent won the popular vote, but a large number of the ballots on the electoral vote were decided to be invalid. This came out in Hayes’ favor and he won the presidential election. Tilden did not challenge this because of the fact Rutherford agreed to the Compromise of 1877 which ended military occupation in the South. It also had to do with giving Democrats a position within the government. Hayes began his presidency in 1877, alongside his vice president William Wheeler. He was 54 at the time of his inauguration and he fully represented the Republican Party. Although he started his presidency while the United States was in danger of fraud, his main goal was to protect the rights of people of all races and to improve parts of the government. He spent a large portion of his time protecting the black people of the south, but there were many roadblocks in his work because the Democratic majority congress denied his actions. 

Hayes realized that papers would get these discussions and promote his perspectives. He likewise composed his vetoes more for the general population than for Congress, and by doing as such conquered the Democrats in the Skirmish of the Riders. Hayes was unmistakably more cunning than the Conklings and Blaines, who turned on him when he declined to select their lieutenants to his bureau and would not give them a chance to command his organization.

Throughout the national railroad strikes of 1877, Hayes, in line with state governors, dispatched government troops to stifle revolting. His organization was under nonstop weight from the South and West to continue silver coinage, prohibited in 1873. Many considered this proposition inflationary, and Hayes agreed with the Eastern, hard-cash premiums. Congress, in any case, superseded his veto of the Tasteless Allison Act of 1878, which accommodated government buy of silver bullion and rebuilding of the silver dollar as legitimate delicate. In 1879 Hayes marked a demonstration allowing ladies attorneys to rehearse under the steady gaze of the Preeminent Court.

While he served as president, he got rid of alcohol in the White House. He put into effect a ban on beer, wine and other liquor. It was mainly to maintain the dignity of office while he was president. There were some exceptions to this rule like when Czar Alexander II of Russia’s son visited the White House. They served alcohol, but Hayes and his wife did not drink.  In 1879, the legislation of allowing women to argue in front of the supreme court was signed by Rutherford B. Hayes.

During the time he was president, there were many firsts. For example, Hayes was the first president to be elected by congressional commission. He took his oath privately in the Red Room, two days before he took the oath publicly. He was the first president to have a telephone and a typewriter as well as starting the tradition of an Easter egg roll that happens on the White House lawn. It took place for the first time in 1878, and it is still continued to this day on the monday after Easter Sunday.

 As his term was coming to an end, Hayes was happy he was leaving the White House “strong, confident, and victorious.” Hayes rejected renomination by the Republican Party in 1880, concluding his single term as president. He confronted many issues in a successful matter. Hayes ended his presidency on a high note. Hayes kept on giving his time helping veterans to get their benefits, enhancing conditions in jails, and advancing all inclusive training. He passed on at Spiegel Woods on January 17, 1893, at seventy years old.

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